Budzinski, Miller Push USPS to Maintain Current Operations at Champaign Mail Processing and Distribution Center

Mar 04, 2024
Labor
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representatives Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) and Mary Miller (IL-15) sent a letter to Postmaster Louis DeJoy raising serious concerns about the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) plan to downsize the Champaign, Illinois Processing and Distribution Center. The plan could mean worse delivery rates and the relocation of dozens of jobs to the Chicago area. Budzinski encourages local residents to take advantage of the current public comment period and submit feedback on the future of these local mail facilities.

“Between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2023, Illinois District 2 was among the lowest on-time delivery rates for both two-day and three-to-five-day delivery options. Moving the processing and distribution capabilities from Champaign to the Chicago area, which is in Illinois District 1, would only exacerbate mail delays across Central and Southern Illinois.” wrote Congresswoman Budzinski. “While I am encouraged that USPS is looking to implement modernization strategies, the potential impact this change would have on regional employment and already lagging delivery rates in IL-13 must be clear before USPS can move forward with this proposal.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy
USPS – Headquarters
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260

Postmaster DeJoy,  

As the Members of Congress who represent Champaign, Illinois, and its surrounding areas, we are writing to raise serious concerns about the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Mail Processing Facility Review (MPFR) for the Champaign Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) located on Mattis Avenue in Champaign.  

USPS’s initial results recommending downsizing the facility to a Local Processing Center (LPC) are incredibly troubling. If this plan were to be implemented, a significant number of the facility’s over 180 employees would likely be asked to relocate from their homes in Champaign to Bedford Park (South Suburban P&DC) or Forest Park (Chicago South P&DC). Both sites are approximately a two-hour drive from Champaign.  

It is also important to note the potential impact this decision would have on mail delivery rates across downstate Illinois. Between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2023, Illinois District 2 was among the lowest on-time delivery rates for both two-day and three-to-five-day delivery options. Moving the processing and distribution capabilities from Champaign to the Chicago area, which is in Illinois District 1, would only exacerbate mail delays across Central and Southern Illinois.  

While we are encouraged that USPS is looking to implement modernization strategies, the potential impact this change would have on regional employment and already lagging delivery rates must be clear before USPS can move forward with this proposal.  

To this end, we respectfully request answers to the following questions in writing by March 22, 2024:

  1. While USPS has assured us no career employees will be laid off as a result of the MPFR, how many employees of the Mattis Ave P&DC will be asked to either move to another P&DC or change jobs?
  2. Can you please provide information on the steps USPS is taking to ensure that employees unwilling or unable to move over 130 miles are retained and offered alternative opportunities at the same salary they were offered in their current roles? 
  3. Can you provide information that proves or supports the idea that downsizing the Champaign, IL P&DC to an LPC and moving operations to South Suburban P&DC or Chicago South P&DC will improve mail delivery rates across Central and Southern Illinois?  
  4. Can you provide insight into how comments submitted by residents to the official USPS public comment portal are taken into consideration as you go about making a final decision for the Champaign P&DC?  
  5. We appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to your prompt response.

I appreciate your attention to this important matter. I look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

###

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